'The Kite Runner' Comes to the Sunrise
The Sunrise Theater has been working on getting "The Kite Runner" since last September. Political censorship and the film's popularity have caused delays in bringing the film to the area, but it opens Wednesday, Feb. 20, and plays through Monday, Feb. 25. The film is based on the popular book of the same name.
"The Kite Runner," a film drama of cruelty redeemed by belated love, is "Marc Forster's wrenching and exhilarating adaptation (by screenwriter David Benioff) of Khaled Hosseini's beloved best seller," writes Carrie Richey in The Philadelphia Inquirer. It received an Oscar nomination for best original score.
The film starts in contemporary San Francisco, where an adult Amir (Khalid Abdalla) looks on sadly as children in a park play with kites. He's a successful author, happily married to Soraya (Atossa Leoni). But a phone call that day carries him back to the past. "There is a way to be good again, Amir," the voice says. Viewers immediately flash back a dozen years to the past that Amir would understandably like to forget.
The past is a healthy and vibrant Kabul about 1978, before the Russian invaders and Taliban fundamentalists. The city's boys engage in kite-fighting tournaments, in which kites with glass-coated strings fill the skies. The boys try to cut each other's strings with their own and be the last one flying.
Twelve-year-old Amir (Zekiria Ebrahimi) and Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada) are partners in kite-flying and best friends. The athletic Hassan, the kite runner, has an intuitive ability to run to exactly where the last kite cut down will hit the ground. The retrieved kite is the ultimate trophy in these tournaments.
These friends, however, are not equal in important ways. Hassan, a Shi'ite, is from the minority Hazara tribe, and his father is the servant of Amir's charismatic father Baba (Homayoun Ershadi), one of Kabul's pre-Russian invasion elite from the dominant and Sunni tribe. Although Baba loves both boys, he disapproves of the timidity of Amir, whose mother died in childbirth. He worries that a son who lets Hassan fight bullies for him will not stand for anything when he becomes a man.
A dreadful situation develops, and Amir's fear causes him to turn his back on Hassan. Soon after, Amir and his father flee Afghanistan and the Russian invasion for California. The adult Amir becomes accustomed to his new life and enjoys success as a writer. His past treatment of Hassan, however, haunts him. To set things right, Amir ultimately returns to Afghanistan, which is now under Taliban rule.
"The Kite Runner" plays Wednesday through Monday at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The film runs 122 minutes and is rated PG-13 for strong thematic material including the sexual assault of a child, violence and brief strong language. It is largely in English, with English subtitles for Dari.
The Sunrise Theater is located at 250 Broad St. in Southern Pines.
Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $6 for matinees, and $5 for children under 12. Movies at the Sunrise are ad-free. Concessions are available.
For more information, call 910-692-3611 or visit www.sunrise theater.com.
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